I, for one, am really looking forward to the start of this season, if only because I'll actually be able to attend the Canes Opening Night game for the first time in two years.
Am I looking forward to this season's Canes? Eh... maybe. I've read a lot of team preview type things over the past month or so and they all seem to say the same thing - that the Canes didn't add much to their roster and defense still looks to be a weak point.
For example, a quote lifted from NHL.com's preview:
Kaberle was the only defenseman that Carolina picked up in the offseason and defense is not his strongest suit.Yeah... that really doesn't invoke a lot of confidence in me. Especially considering how Kaberle didn't play the best in the playoffs for the Bruins.
But let's look at what we have so far this preseason. The roster was recently chopped to 24, with a surprise (at least for me) in Zach Boychuk being sent to Charlotte. Admittedly, I haven't been able to catch much of the Canes preseason games/practices (I mean, really, it is football season), but I would have hoped that Boychuk would have had enough to stay with the big team - I really have liked what I've seen from him.
As for the actual preseason games and whatnot... the Canes have the spectacular record of 1-4. Which doesn't look good, but it is the preseason, and there's a reason I favor football over preseason hockey. Namely, the preseason doesn't really matter when comes to playing in games that actually matter.
Although, an interesting thought I just had... if the Canes start out horribly, will they get rid of Paul Maurice? Maybe starting out poorly wouldn't be too bad... but, actually, please, for the love of everything good, let's not have another 14 game losing streak. That was horrendous.
Really, I just hope the Canes are consistent this year. If you're going to be bad, be horrible. Get a good draft pick. If you're going to be good, have a solid place in the top 6 of the Eastern Conference. I really do not want to have to deal with another year of mediocrity that ends with disappointment when the Canes let a playoff spot slip through their fingers. That has happened far too much and it's getting kind of annoying.
Regular season starts next Friday, so all the speculation will end then. Let's play some hockey!